The steady increase from this year’s figure of $3.86 billion (€3.45 billion) is also closely linked to consumers’ needs for alternative protein sources, according to the Visiongain report entitled Meat-Substitutes Market Report 2016-2026 .
“Meat substitutes are a part of the free-from trend, which is driven by health concerns, and the health & wellness trend,” it said.
The report also noted that the growth of the global population is also a significant driver of the market. UN projections show that by 2050, the global population will reach 8.9 billion people, increasing by 47% since 2000.
Visiongain said: “In this light, alternative sources of protein become an important factor of sustainable development.
“Considering that raising livestock requires a lot of water, land and animal feed, as well as produces a lot of waste, plant-based proteins are becoming a tool, which can potentially help to solve these problems.”
In its report Visiongain identified a number of opportunities and strengths within the current meat substitutes market, such as the fact that the market remains open to new technological advances.
It reported that the market also needs improvement in global legislative framework as not all the countries have established legal basis in the meat analogues labelling and production spheres.
The report said: “The meat alternatives market is relatively small today, but all the factors analysed in this report illustrate that the industry will exhibit significant growth in the next ten years, providing excellent commercial opportunities.”
Karina Sventitskayte, food industry analyst at Visiongain, told FoodNavigator: “Health concerns related to meat consumption are amongst the most important drivers for meat substitutes.
“Consumers of vegetarian food are not only vegetarians, but also non-vegetarians who want to change their diet towards consumption of less meat. While some of them are driven by a simple popularity of “flexitarianism” and such movements as “Meat-Free Mondays”, the benefits of meat substitutes for health are attracting consumers.
“Some of the major benefits of meat substitute consumption include the lower level of blood cholesterol, better digestion, benefits for the heart health and much more.”
Sventitskayte added that consumers are also changing their eating habits because of ethical issues connected with the consumption of meat.
She said: “Trying to decrease the intake of animal-derived products, these consumers are choosing to purchase more fruits and vegetables, as well as eat more plant proteins, including meat alternatives. In this light, the market of meat alternatives, which is dominated by soy-based ingredients, is seeing a rapid growth. “